Sociable

Monday, September 30, 2013

Secret Stages presents Belle Adair


Secret Stages presents Belle Adair


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Secret Stages' Miller Lite Stage in the Historic Loft District of downtown Birmingham, Alabama to attend a performance by Belle Adair.

Belle Adair's first record, The Brave and the Blue, will shipwreck your intellect. One minute the kettle's ringing, or the light is changing red to green, but you're gone. You're swept away to this heart-wandering tiny universe with pedal steel swells and trumpet gulls, love lamented and comprehended. Life, examined and exalted.

The record is the wreck. The island. The raft. You? You're the drifter. Listen.

"Be Brave" opens the record with two-and-a-half minutes of improvised ethereal ambience, a balm of an introduction to the motifs and instrumentation to come. The track is a reflection of Belle Adair songwriter and front man Matt Green's admiration of ambient artists like Tim Hecker and Stars of the Lid. The instrumental elements of "Be Brave" undercurrent the first half of the record as the sound evolves, straddling folk and pop, Americana, indie-rock. The band draws from a wide palette of sounds: pedal steel, Rhodes, violin, brass, synthesizers, and guitar, with the acoustic often playing lead. And Green's soulful vocals, hinting at British whispers and Southern lilts, steady yet brimming with the emotion of each song's crux. Green, like you, wanders—between The Brave and the Blue—searching for significance in what we can withstand to lose and dare to hope. Much of The Brave and the Blue was imagined in the early mornings of a time of revival for Green, who returned home to Muscle Shoals, Ala., after his Birmingham apartment was destroyed in a fire, the last loss in a series of disappearances: work, love, happiness, reason.

The synced timbres and tones, key and elements, images and ideas of one grand musical atmosphere create the world of Side A. You'll wander through the cinematic poetry of burning streets beneath a wide black sky past unwelcome guests and lost loves, but don't distress. The music will carry you through. "Sister" is a dream, embodying the tonal modes of Belle Adair, shifting from sweet acoustics to a crescendo of jangly keys and electric guitar, before fizzing into beautiful distortion. "The Unwelcome Guest" is a lonely slow dance in a Southern bar. Dawn on an autumn beach and the "Clouds Never Break." You're alone, for now, drifter.

Side B begins with the rosy pop of "Golden Days," your future unfurling. The organ and horn-drenched "Easy Way Out" is the highway, so rich in sound and ringing with such verisimilitude, your heart will ache and sing, drifter. The candid "Comes a Time" brings you face to face with the possibility of new love. And finally, "The Search" is a grassy hilltop at the destination of one journey, the launch of another. Green sings, "All we seek is what we are given." Welcome home.

Green's predilection for sundry styles of songwriting is ever present in the roaming of Side B—a nod to the recording fashions of bands like The Byrds but also a manifestation of place. Green's access to talented musicians is unlimited in the Shoals. And although the songs begin with Green, they end in the deftly handled instruments of nearly a dozen musicians who gathered at Nutthouse Recording Studio in the Shoals. Of particular note is the backing band's attention to each song's needs, always appropriate, never intruding—Daniel Stoddard's pedal steel, Chris James' bass, and Patrick McDonald's drums. For Green, the studio is a fortress, a sanctuary, in which his intentions become tangible; the outside world barricaded from the one he's creating. Keyboardist and Green's childhood friend Ben Tanner engineered the record, drawing on the mystical intuition and trust of friendship, completing Green's arrival home.

Belle Adair casts away the trepidation of traveling roads once rocky. How fitting for a band named after a sunken ship in Steinbeck's Winter of Our Discontent. Put on The Brave and the Blue. And the kettle, too. Drift away. Forage the once-forgotten memories of your past self, no longer deserted.

By KA Webb

Secret Stages presents Nuckols, Carnaggio & Eaton


Secret Stages presents Nuckols, Carnaggio & Eaton


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Secret Stages' Miller Lite Stage in the Historic Loft District of downtown Birmingham, Alabama to attend a Jazz performance by Nuckols, Carnaggio & Eaton.

Nuckols, Carnaggio & Eaton is a group founded by Jazz great Cleve Eaton. In the Jazz world Cleve Eaton is highly regarded internationally as a composer, arranger, producer and bassist. For 16 years Cleve was known as "The Counts Bassist" Referring to the legendary Count Basie. Cleve also was a member of the Ramsey Lewis Trio for 10 years. The other member of the Trio was Maurice White who went on to Earth Wind and Fire fame. Some of Cleve's honors include induction into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, and the Playboy Jazz Poll. Cleve, as an in demand bassist performed with super stars such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, George Benson and other musical giants. Cleve has also performed on 4 Gold singles, and 7 Grammy winning albums. Today finds Cleveland Eaton moving full speed ahead with his handpicked guitarist Birmingham, Alabama native Joe Carnaggio and Louisville, Kentucky native John Nuckols on drums. As Cleve puts it "These are the only cats since the Basie guys that can play my music."

John Nuckols is an extraordinarily accomplished percussionist and drummer. One has to be to perform with a bassist like Cleve Eaton. A significant moment of formal training for John was when he had the opportunity to study with Alan Dawson famed drummer with Dave Brubeck. Guitarist Joe Carnaggio fronts the band with his energetic and signature style of delivering melody and improvisation to the audience. In addition to Cleve, Joe writes and the band performs many of his songs. Cleve had heard of Joe but had never heard him play. John Nuckols who had been performing with Cleve for the past 7 years urged Joe to come and play at an upper level musician jam session hosted by Cleve. Joe obviously knew of Cleve and his band. What Joe did not know was that Cleve was looking to form a new band to introduce to the world better suited for the future. Soon after that jam session Joe got the call from Cleve's agent and booked Joe for a few gigs. The few gigs turned into a permanent and satisfying musical relationship.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Secret Stages presents Through the Sparks



Secret Stages presents Through the Sparks




Alabama Music Office.com goes to Secret Stages' Miller Lite Stage in the Historic Loft District of downtown Birmingham, Alabama to attend a performance by Through the Sparks. Through the Sparks brand of "basement-baroque, mid-fi" psychedelia is one based in American roots music. After forming in 2003, the Birmingham, Alabama quintet released two EPs, Coin Toss in 2005 and AudioIotas in 2006, before turning in an LP in 2007. Pitchfork media called Lazarus Beach "a sophisticated sprawl of sound and songs, with elements of power pop, 70s singer/songwriter, prog, indie guitar rock, and even some smooth southern soul." The album, which the band recorded in its basement studio, went on to become Barnes and Noble's highest selling "rock" record for a few days, due to critical praise. They played as many shows as they could, including several appearances over the past three years at CMJ and SXSW.
2010... Through the Sparks follows up with it's latest LP, Worm Moon Waning. Having learned their lesson from a couple of forays into "proper" studios, the band returned to the basement to cut the nine tracks picked for Worm Moon Waning. To achieve a live feel, they brought in long-time engineering collaborator Lynn Bridges to man the controls while the band cut tracks in the same room, at the same time.
Horns and background vocals fleshed out the record. In contrast to Lazarus Beach, Worm Moon Waning doesn't host a single sound that didn't travel through air and hit a mic... The result is a record with a stronger presence -- one that, while not at all stripped down, is focused and dynamic. It comes and goes in just around 38 minutes... 76 if you play it twice.


In both of its first two years (2011, 2012), Secret Stages brought thousands of people to downtown Birmingham. For two nights a diverse group of music enthusiasts were treated to over 80 bands and a dozen comedians performing on eleven different stages. These acts were drawn from the nation, the region, and our own back yard. The spirit of Secret Stages celebrates that which is coming next in the world of music.  Secret Stages 2013, that spirit was very much alive. This year's Secret Stages was August 2 and 3, 2013. This two-day festival was once again held in the Historic Loft District of downtown Birmingham.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Secret Stages presents Midnight Risers


Secret Stages presents Midnight Risers

Alabama Music Office.com goes to Secret Stages in downtown Birmingham, Alabama to attend a performance by Midnight Risers at M-Lounge. A short wander off the Appalachian Trail somewhere between Alternative Country and a loud version of Americana lies Midnight Risers. During the summer of 2008, Anna Denbo (vocals, banjo, piano) Matt Moffitt (backup vocals, bass) and Shawn Collins (drums) began a journey together with the music they grew up with. They recently completed their debut album at Goodwood Sound in Atlanta, GA. and are currently performing live throughout the Southeastern United States, To book them please contact mrisers@yahoo.com.


In both of its first two years (2011, 2012), Secret Stages brought thousands of people to downtown Birmingham. For two nights a diverse group of music enthusiasts were treated to over 80 bands and a dozen comedians performing on eleven different stages. These acts were drawn from the nation, the region, and our own back yard. The spirit of Secret Stages celebrates that which is coming next in the world of music. Secret Stages 2013, that spirit was very much alive. This year's Secret Stages was August 2 and 3, 2013. This two-day festival was once again held in the Historic Loft District of downtown Birmingham.

Secret Stages presents Colossal Gospel



Secret Stages presents Colossal Gospel 



Alabama Music Office.com goes to Pale Eddies in downtown Birmingham, Alabama to attend a performance by Colossal Gospel for Secret Stages. In both of its first two years (2011, 2012), Secret Stages brought thousands of people to downtown Birmingham. For two nights a diverse group of music enthusiasts were treated to over 80 bands and a dozen comedians performing on eleven different stages. These acts were drawn from the nation, the region, and our own back yard. The spirit of Secret Stages celebrates that which is coming next in the world of music. Secret Stages 2013, that spirit was very much alive.

You've heard mention of the "Heart of the South" aplenty. It's something of a regional reference point, the geographic central organ of whatever context in which it's breathed. It can simultaneously be the Georgia Piedmont and the Mississippi Delta. Maybe it's where those hillbillies dwell up near the Great Smokies in the Appalachian Plateau. Just depends. On what you're reading. Or seeing. Or listening to. On where that story happens to live. The Heart of the South can be anyplace, which basically means it's every place. And if it's every place, then maybe it ain't a place at all. Maybe it's a secret or an idea or some other intangible thing, cloistered away in the innermost chamber of the indigenous spirit. May very well be a birthright, that. Protected, localized, impossibly extracted or replicated by outsiders. We see it and hear it and feel it because those who can access it choose or feel compelled to tell it, in whatever version is theirs.

We don't know what compelled Stephen Weibelt and Chris Johnson to build a makeshift studio in a makeshift shed in Leeds, Alabama -- a state, as it were, that bills itself as the Heart of Dixie -- and make music. But they did. As Colossal Gospel, the duo quietly and nearly anonymously recorded the songs that would become "Circles," their debut LP. If psych-folk is LSD around a bonfire, "Circles" is a low dose of mushrooms on the front porch; a folkloric nu-gospel trip that pulses with the humid breath of a trueborn southern narrative.

In Colossal Gospel's telling, the story is a sort of grounded fairytale, magic realism, maybe that meta-world that lives just beyond the margins, which prayers or thoughts seek to find. Its twilight more than dark, a touch (or three) merrier than the sweaty Southern Gothic macabre of its forebears. But it does pass under their looming, languid branches from time to time.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Secret Stages presents No


Secret Stages presents No

Alabama Music Office.com goes to Das Haus in downtown Birmingham, Alabama to attend  a performance by No for Secret Stages. I know very little of this band other than their fans are truly fanatical!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Secret Stages presents Gabriel Tajeu


Secret Stages presents Gabriel Tajeu


Alabama Music Office.com goes to downtown Birmingham, Alabama to attend Secret Stages, the music discovery Festival. Gabriel Tajeu was the opening act on the Miller Lite Stage.

In both of its first two years (2011, 2012), Secret Stages brought thousands of people to downtown Birmingham. For two nights a diverse group of music enthusiasts were treated to over 80 bands and a dozen comedians performing on eleven different stages. These acts were drawn from the nation, the region, and our own back yard. The spirit of Secret Stages celebrates that which is coming next in the world of music. Secret Stages 2013, that spirit will remain very much alive. This year's Secret Stages was planned for August 2 and 3, 2013. This two-day festival was once again held in the Historic Loft District of downtown Birmingham.

Gabriel Tajeu was raised listening to all types of music from Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, to Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. During his teenage years he started to listen to R&B legends from Luther Vandross to Brian McKnight. It is R&B that has had the largest influence on his music. From the way he sings, the phrasing, and the types of chord progressions and structure that he hears are all influenced heavily by the genre. "It is the music that I found late in my college years and recently that has had the most profound impact on my current musical ventures."

"Musicians like Ben Harper, Ryan Adams, Van Hunt, Joni Mitchell, Amos Lee, and Elvis Costello have begun to creep into my consciousness. The way they write music is completely different than the R&B artists I grew up listening to...Their lyrical sensibilty, rock and roll affect, and sometimes unpredictible song structure is something that I am trying to incorporate into my music and aspire to as a songwriter."

Gabriel Tajeu has been the smooth lead vocalist for the ultra popular "Bonus Round" based in Birmingham, Al over the past two and a half years. Gabriel recently has branched out on a solo project after months of dedication writing and arranging what he likes to call "R&B/Soul with a dash of Folk Rock for blending. Gabriel is giving his fans an ample taste with his recent solo single "If By Chance" - feat Ivory Soul which he released exclusively on social networks, it was just enough to have them come out and have a truly Soulful experience Live. Gabriel's new band debuted at the recent Inaugural Birmingham Arts and Music Festival performing at The established Workplay Theater before the festival headliner Matthew Mayfield. Gabriel enjoys performing live and is excited about his new venture and happy to take his fans new and old along for the ride.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Jason Isbell at Railroad Park


Jason Isbell at Railroad Park


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham, Alabama to attend the Revival Music Festival headlined by Jason Isbell. For those not familiar with Railroad Park it is a 19 acre green space in downtown Birmingham, situated along 1st Avenue South, between 14th and 18th Streets.
Jason Isbell is touring to support his latest release Southeastern. Southeastern is not a record Jason has made before, and not simply because the glorious storm and drama of his band, the 400 Unit, is absent. They will tour together; it's not a break-up record, not an album of dissolving, but, rather, songs of discovery. And not at all afraid, not even amid the tears. Which is to say that he has grown up.

Dick Cooper Party after W.C. Handy Festival 2013 "The Photos"


Dick Cooper Party after W.C. Handy Festival 2013 "The Photos"

Alabama Music Office.com goes to Shoal Creek near Florence, Alabama to attend the Dick Cooper Party after W.C. Handy Festival 2013. If you were at this party then odds are you are in at least one of these photos maybe more. Music is from the Coleman-Hinton Project, Lost and Found. Followed by Odetta "The Car-Car Song" from her The Tin Angel album.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 Music Clips


Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 Music Clips

Alabama Music Office.com goes to Shoals Creek near Florence, Alabama to attend the Dick Cooper Party after W.C. Handy Festival 2013. Internationally renowned for unparalleled contributions to Alabama music, Dick Cooper has been an inspirational leader within the Alabama music community. A Dick Cooper Party is a collective of musicians and other music professionals dedicated to nurturing, performing, and recording serious, original music and some favorite covers. This collective of dynamic and visionary artists formed the Dick Cooper Party to meet their emergent needs to expose and showcase their original compositions and to hopefully create an outlet for the development and performance of their music.

Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 with John D Wyker


Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 with John D Wyker


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Shoals Creek near Florence, Alabama to attend the Dick Cooper Party after W.C. Handy Festival 2013. It was very late when John D. Wyker of Sailcat fame took the stage with Braden Sharp on drums and Will Gay on acoustic guitar.

Sailcat -U.S.A. Rock & Roll Music band that was signed with Elektra Records in the early 1970s and best known for the "hit" song "Motorcycle Mama." Sailcat, an early Southern Pop/Rock band, was the innovation of John Wyker and Court Pickett who formed the group in 1971 near Decatur, Alabama. Wyker was a veteran of the Muscle Shoals, Alabama rock music scene who had been in The Rubber Band with John Townsend (later of the Sanford-Townsend Band). Court Pickett was the vocalist and bass player from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, who had just moved from Macon, Georgia where he had been playing and singing for Sundown, a band that also had Chuck Leavell (Rolling Stones, Allman Brothers), Charlie Hayward (Charlie Daniels Band), and Lou Mullenix (Alex Taylor Band, Dr. John). He's also the brother of The Rubber Band's, Ed Pickett. An early demo tape cut by the duo, which included the song "Motorcycle Mama", was initially discarded by the band but after it was presented to Elektra Records led to a record contract and 1972 album release titled: Sailcat "Motorcycle Mama". The resulting album was produced by Pete Carr, was a concept album with biker theme, about a motorcycle riding drifter in the Easy Rider vein who tires of life on the road and falls in love with a young woman. The cover art and drawings inside the gatefold cover were drawn by Jack Davis, featuring motorcycles, predominately the Harley-Davidson with a series of drawings for each song on the album. The concept album's songs loosely tell the story of a motorcycle vagrant, who apparently bums for a living, meeting a woman and settling down to start a family. However, he apparently keeps some of his selfish behaviors as the last drawing shows him reclining on his porch while his wife hangs the laundry and his child hoes the garden. In 1972, single "Motorcycle Mama" hit #12 on the Billboard magazine singles charts, and the album went to #38 and led them to appearances on American Bandstand and at Carnegie Hall. John D. Wyker and Sailcat perform Motorcycle Mama and Walking Together Backwards on their first televised appearance on August 26, 1972. Sailcat toured to promote the album, released one more non-LP single, "Baby Ruth". Soon after releasing the album, Sailcat broke up. Sailcat leader Johnny Wyker, who had been a member of the Rubber Band who recorded the original version of "Let Love Come Between Us," later a hit for James and Bobby Purify, went on to play with many of the great Southern rock musicians like Eddie Hinton, Dan Penn, Delany Bramlett, among others. He is currently working on a benefit project called The Mighty Field of Vision Anthem, a group dedicated to raising funds for musicians who have fallen on hard times. On the 1990 compilation album Rubáiyát, the song is covered by The Sugarcubes featuring Björk. The album was officially re-release on CD in 2004.
Courtland Pickett later issued a solo album, Fancy Dancer, on the Elektra label in 1973. Court Pickett now lives in Rock Hill, S.C.-Wikipedia

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 with Jon Davis and Dylan LeBlanc


Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 with Jon Davis and Dylan LeBlanc


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Shoals Creek near Florence, Alabama to attend the Dick Cooper Party after W.C. Handy Festival 2013. As the night wears on, Jon Davis and Dylan LeBlanc entertain. Keep your eye on these two talented young men.

At the age of 13, Jon Davis started off as a drummer. He has played for acts such as Gary Nicholas, Bo Bice, Dylan LeBlanc, and many more. He started writing songs in his early 20s and played a few while in the band, The Pollies. One night while at the studio with friends they convinced him to start doing gigs on his own, just him and his guitar. This talented, up and coming artist brings you heart felt music full of emotion and stories of his life among others around him.

Dylan is a native of Muscle Shoals, Alabama and he is the dark horse of the vibrant and close-knit musical community there that includes Alabama Shakes, Secret Sisters, and Civil Wars to name a few. From a young age, LeBlanc watched his father perform at various clubs and bars. He became intrigued with musicianship and the way of life. Although LeBlanc has had some mild success, he has struggled to reach real commercial success, Though he has had praise from popular music media.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 with Mary Mason and Kendra & Holley


Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 with Mary Mason and Kendra & Holley

Alabama Music Office.com goes to Shoals Creek near Florence, Alabama to attend the Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013. What lights are working this night is working and the show goes on. We get a little "Respect" with Mary Mason who is backed by Kendra Sutton and Holley Johnson Malone.

Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 with Christine Ohlman


Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 with Christine Ohlman

Alabama Music Office.com goes to Shoals Creek near Florence, Alabama to attend the Dick Cooper Party after W.C. Handy Festival 2013. The lighting crew is still working on the stage lights. Christine Ohlman, the Beehive Queen, sings in almost complete darkness. There was a lot of manipulation done to make this video viewable. Christine was worn out from her heavy schedule during W.C. Handy Festival 2013. Regardless she gave us her all. Anytime AMO can bring you a performance by Christine Ohlman, under any conditions, we will.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 with Christine Ohlman and Mary Mason


Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 with Christine Ohlman and Mary Mason

Alabama Music Office.com goes to Shoals Creek near Florence, Alabama to attend the Dick Cooper Party after W.C. Handy Festival 2013. The sun set long ago as Christine Ohlman and Mary Mason sing "Every Time I Roll The Dice." The lighting crew is doing their job to get light on the stage . Problems happened. The song comes to a halt when the power goes off. The power was only off a few seconds and like the pros they are, they finished the song. I wish the sound on the sax had been better because Bad Brad Guin shows why they call him "Bad."

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 with Mary Mason and Christine Ohlman


Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 with Mary Mason and Christine Ohlman


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Shoals Creek near Florence, Alabama to attend the Dick Cooper Party after W.C. Handy Festival 2013. The party continues with Mary Mason and Christine Ohlman working their magic on Jimmy Reed's "Bright Lights, Big City." Will McFarland does a killer solo. The sun has set and the lights are being set up.

There is a great article in Oxford American Issue 71 about Mary back when she was called Mary Gresham.  http://www.oxfordamerican.org/articles/2010/dec/01/mary-gresham/

Friday, September 6, 2013

Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 with Tosha Hill and girlfriends


Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 with Tosha Hill and girlfriends

Alabama Music Office.com goes to Shoals Creek near Florence, Alabama to attend the Dick Cooper Party after W.C. Handy Festival 2013. Tosha Hill sings this one and Mary Mason joins with backup harmony, before the song is over they are joined by Kendra Sutton and Holley Johnson Malone. Everyone had that 'Let the good times roll' feeling. This was a hot number performed by these ladies as the sun sets. Bad Brad Guin on Sax had a microphone that lacked volume.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 with Kendra Sutton and Holley J Malone


Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 with Kendra Sutton and Holley J Malone

Alabama Music Office.com goes to Shoals Creek near Florence, Alabama to attend the Dick Cooper Party after W.C. Handy Festival 2013. Kendra Sutton and Holley Johnson Malone were on hand to entertain as only they can. It's always fun times when these two show up.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 with Tosha Hill


Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 with Tosha Hill

Alabama Music Office.com goes to Shoal Creek near Florence, Alabama to attend the Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013. Tosha Hill and her brother Josh were on hand to entertain. Tosha's name is appearing on more and more marquees.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 with Scott Boyer and Scott Boyer III


Dick Cooper Party after WC Handy Festival 2013 with Scott Boyer and Scott Boyer III

Alabama Music Office.com goes to Shoals Creek near Florence, Alabama to attend the Dick Cooper Party after W.C. Handy Festival 2013. Scott is back and teams up with his son to entertain as the party gets started.